The Detroit Tigers headed south to Cleveland, Ohio Friday evening for the start of a three-game, weekend series against the Indians.
The Tigers were looking to build some momentum off an impressive ninth inning performance from closer Joe Nathan on Thursday that prevented the Tigers from being swept by the Kansas City Royals. Despite preventing the sweep, the Tigers still went from the AL Central lead, to trailing the Royals by 1/2 game following the conclusion of the series.
Rick Porcello started on the mound for the Tigers.
Detroit is never really sure if they are getting good Porcello or bad Porcello, luckily tonight they seemed to get the better half.
It would end up being a solid performance from Porcello who would throw for 7.0 innings and 107 pitches. He threw six shutout innings with his final line being: 61 IP, 6H, 1BB, and 3K. In his last six starts vs Cleveland Porcello has a 1.78 ERA (35.1IP/7ER) with 27 strikeouts.
Victor Martinez got things rolling offensively for the Tigers, hitting his 18th homer on the year in the fourth inning. The two-run shot made it 2-0 Tigers headed into the fifth inning.
J.D. Martinez blasted a three-run shot in the eighth, scoring Cabrera and Victor Martinez giving the Tigers a 5-0 lead late.
The came Ian Krol.
With Krol pitching for Detroit, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a three-run home run to left field, scoring Mike Aviles and Michael Bourn. Carlos Santana followed two batters later with a homer of his own – a solo shot to left. The score was cut to 5-4, Tigers.
Then came what could have been the brightest point of the game. Joe Nathan came in to close it out for the Tigers. Nathan followed up Thursdays performance perfectly, nailing down yet another win for the Tigers.
The win gives Detroit a two game winning streak and more importantly, some confidence in the bullpen.